Suspects who make mass shooting threats are not monitored
Who checks whether suspects under risk protection orders own guns?
WINTER PARK, Fla. – Richard Clayton, arrested by Winter Park police on Aug. 9, will face an Orange County judge Friday for a risk protection order hearing.
Winter Park police filed the order a week ago when they arrested him at his parents' Winter Park home.
Police and the FBI's Counter-Terrorism Unit said Clayton had posted a threat on social media: "3 more days of probation left then I get my AR-15 back. Don't go to Walmart next week."
Winter Park police Lt. Garvin McComie said besides taking away any firearms, the order also allows for three safeguards in Clayton's case and anyone's case.
"First, his information is transmitted to the Florida Department of Agriculture, which will reject him during a background check if he tries to purchase a firearm," McComie said. "Second, it is a felony for him to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. If he is found to be in possession of those items, he could be arrested. Third, if the police department has probable cause to believe he is in possession of a firearm or ammunition, the police may request that a judge issue a search warrant for his residence."
But the order does not provide for, allow, or require regular checks to make sure a suspect under a protection order does not somehow obtain a firearm.
Clayton is currently in the Orange County Jail but can be released if he posts bond, which is set at $15,000.
At his bond hearing, the judge ordered him to "not possess any weapons or firearms and not go within 1,000 feet of a Walmart or Walmart parking lot."
Clayton's risk protection order hearing will be between himself, a judge and Winter Park police, according to News 6 legal analyst Steven Kramer.
Kramer said a hearing must be scheduled within 14 days of the filing of the protection order.
At the hearing, it's up to law enforcement to convince a judge to keep the order in place.
A judge can decide to extend the order up to a year.
After that, it's up to law enforcement officials again to petition the judge to continue the protection order, if law enforcement officials feel the suspect is still a danger to himself or others, Kramer said.
Likewise, a suspect under order can petition the judge to have the order lifted and weapons returned.
Tristan Wix, arrested at a Daytona Beach Winn-Dixie for making threats, is scheduled for a risk protection order hearing on Aug. 30.
Volusia County sheriff's deputies said Wix texted his ex-girlfriend: "I wanna open fire on a large crowd of people from over three miles away before i die and i need a spotter. But a good 100 kills would be nice. I already have a location. Is that bad?"
Wix's girlfriend reported the threats, deputies said.
A judge denied bond for Wix "for the protection of the public given the threat to kill at least a 100 people."
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